For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2021
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
More Virginians will have access to higher education thanks to a new initiative approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Ralph Northam. G3 – Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back – provides “last dollar” tuition assistance to middle- and lower-income students taking classes in five high-demand career areas. It goes into effect July 1.
G3 pays for a qualified student’s remaining tuition after any scholarships and financial aid have been applied. The program is open to any student who qualifies for in-state tuition, has a total household income that is no more than 400-percent of the federal poverty level – about $100,000 for a family of four – is enrolled in at least six credit hours and has applied for federal and/or state financial aid.
Additionally, a student must enroll in an Laurel Ridge program designated as being in high demand in Virginia: healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and skilled trades, early childhood education and public safety.
The student can choose a pathway that leads directly to a short-term workforce credential, a certificate, or one that will lead to an associate degree. The G3 program is designed to be stackable, so even those earning shorter workforce training credentials can work their way towards an associate degree while also earning money by putting their newly-acquired skills to work.
“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Virginia was in need of more medical workers,” said Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser. “The need for cybersecurity technicians to protect our data will continue to grow. We really need skilled trades workers. Students who will come through our G3 programs are today’s ‘essential workers.’”
In fact, the Virginia Employment Commission has said that by 2026, Virginia will have 2.6 million job openings for positions that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree. G3 is designed to close that gap.
“Not only will G3 help lift more Virginians out of poverty, it will help our local economy thrive, while providing the state a return on its investment in the initiative thanks to the additional income taxes these jobs will generate,” Dr. Blosser said.
Those who complete programs that qualify for G3, earn an average salary 60 percent higher than they previously attained, leading to more tax revenue for the state, which is investing $36 million in the program.
“We at Laurel Ridge are so excited to be able to offer this new program starting in July,” said Dr. Anne Davis, vice president of academic and student affairs for the college. “Our advisors are poised to help students determine if they meet eligibility for one of our short-term credential, certificate or degree programs.”
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.